Can technology turn around the HR department?
As businesses grow and develop, the demand on those in administrative roles also increases. This is a common situation for many Australian SMEs, but according to a survey, technology could hold the answer.
Earlier this year, Robert Half published an OfficeTeam survey of more than 300 senior managers. Respondents were asked what changes in the workplace have had the biggest impact on administrative professionals in the last 12 months.
Almost half (48 per cent) said some form of technology or software had provided the greatest change.
Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said technology is advancing rapidly and is becoming an integral tool for administrative professionals and the wider business.
“Administrative professionals are often at the front lines of implementing new technology at work and teaching others how to use it,” he stated.
“In addition to helping companies adapt to hardware and software updates, support staff are regularly going beyond the call of duty to address an array of business challenges.”
It is interesting to note that both a reduction in staff size and amendments in company benefits also received 18 per cent each in the survey.
Other responses included hiring more staff (8 per cent) and an increase in employees working remotely or having access to flexible work schedules (6 per cent).
With technology on hand to assist with HR processes for example, administrative professionals have the opportunity to lend a hand in other departments that might be struggling.
“It’s not uncommon for administrative professionals to jump in to assist with everything from communicating changes in company benefits to taking on extra projects when staff levels decline,” Mr Hosking said.
The key to technology and software in businesses is that it needs to be tailored for specific functions. For example, HR management software can be useful in a range of applications including recruitment, training and employee relations.